I've been thinking a lot about how I want to start and end class next year. I think my hang up is that I am a very routine person so I want to pick one thing and use it every day. Then I can make a nice little form to pass out and be done with it. No more thinking.
Just like there is no one best teaching method, there is no one best way to start and end class. I'd like to brainstorm some ideas to keep in my 'toolbox' of ideas. (It is a very sexy toolbox by the way.)
In the past I have mostly done review problems from the previous lesson or review problems of skills they should have and will need for the current lesson as my warm up.
I tried exit slips for the first time last year and it failed. Students would do the warm up on one side and then immediately flip it over and attempt the exit slip, even though I hadn't taught them the new skill yet. Or I would run class too long and forget about the exit slip completely.
I also spent entirely too much time creating, printing, and cutting them. It was not worth it. Neither the ends nor the means were justified.
These are my priorities and purposes behind a warm up and exit slips:
1. Warms ups suck students into learning as soon as the bell rings
2. I want to make the most of each one of my instructional minutes.
3. I want a seamless transition from one class to another.
4. Exit slips require me to give students time to reflect.
5. I want students to make meaning and create connections from what they've learned.
6. I want some kind of instructional feedback so I know what to do next.
Here are the things I am brainstorming about and please help me add new ideas.
Warm Up Exercises
Review problem from previous lesson
Review problem of skill they should know and will need for current lesson
Review problem of skill from previous unit
Review problem of skill from previous grade
Write a main idea from the previous lesson
Look back at a practice problem you didn't understand and write one question about it
Exit Slip Exercises
Write a one sentence summary of the math we did today.
Choose one example problem from the notes and ask a question about it.
Write a main idea or important fact from today's lesson.
Rewrite a process from the notes in your own words.
Rewrite the definition(s) of important vocabulary word(s) in your own words.
Write down any important formulas and label what the variables mean.
Do I build this into their daily guided notes sheet?
Do I give them blank index cards and project the task on the SMART board?
Are index cards the right size for what I want? (Do I even know what I want?)
Do I keep these for accountability or do students?
Could I manage it so that the exit slip can be reviewed/shared/discussed the next morning as the warm up exercise, killing two birds with one stone?
If I want some type of instructional feedback, I have to be in possession of the exit slips. When I read through them, what do I do with them? Sort? Keep? Toss?
Could a throwaway exit slip be transferred to my unit summary sheet as the warm up exercise for the day and then be discarded?
I think my bottom line question (which applies to most things I want to do) is:
What is the simplest way to do this with the most impact?
One more thing...I have always wanted to make a giant BINGO (or MATHO I suppose) board with different activities and then roll an awesome BINGO wheel thingy to select the activity. Could that be a possibility? Could I create activities generic enough that could apply to either a warm up or exit slip? I could have students take turns spinning the wheel. I think they would love it and it would be random. Could I let go of my control freak nature enough to let it happen without, gasp, me planning it?
Inquiring minds want to know.